Liberation of Karabakh by Azerbaijan not to prompt CSTO interference


Liberation of Karabakh by Azerbaijan not to prompt CSTO interference

Эксперты МГИМО: Никитина Юлия Александровна, к.полит.н.

News. Az interviews Yuliya Nikitina, PhD, Research Fellow, MGIMO Center for the Post-Soviet Studies.

How would you comment on CSTO’s decision not to interfere with stability and security in Kyrgyzstan?

CSTO may interfere with the conflict only at the request of a member-state. In case of revolutions of Kyrgyzstan both in 2005 and 2010 the organization did not receive such a request, the temporary government has appealed for assistance to the organization only after riots in the south of Kyrgyzstan in June 2010. However, the organization refuses to send the military contingent only limiting itself to send technical (aviation, transport) and humanitarian assistance. From the legal viewpoint, the CSTO decision not to send troops is absolutely right since CSTO is primarily the organization of collective security against external threats and it has no obligations to settle internal conflicts of its members

Currently, an operative working group within CSTO is developing proposals on possible measures of stabilization in Kyrgyzstan. On June 25 representatives of this group arrived to Kyrgyzstan to «develop additional proposals». Before that, head of the State Service of National Security of Kyrgyzstan Keneshbek Dushebayev said the riots in the south could have been provoked by international extremist organizations. This interpretation of ethnic clashes in the south of Kyrgyzstan may create grounds for CSTO’s interference- if we consider the events of mid June as a provocation of extremists that intervened from the territory of Afghanistan or other neighbour states. However, it is highly unlikely that the heads of the CSTO member-states will agree on such interpretation.

Does such attitude of CSTO to one of its members lead to the loss of its trust among the rest participants of the organization and its further collapse?

Undoubtedly, Kyrgyzstan is not satisfied with CSTO decision not to intervene, but other members of the organization share the opinion that they should not interfere. After the revolutionary events CSTO adopted on Belarus proposal a declaration with a formulation about «nonconstitutional change of power». It was supported by the rest members who fear «color» revolutions and coups in their countries and prefer not to create the precedent of CSTO interference with the domestic affairs since they want to have a carte blanche for the independent resolution of domestic riots.

There is a view that CSTO passiveness in the Kyrgyz issue proves Moscow’s hand in the indicated events in this Middle Asian country. What can you say about it?

Indeed, there are rumours that Russia played an active role in the Kyrgyz revolution, however, they are groundless. CSTO’s passiveness can be explained by Russia’s unwillingness to interfere either on it’s own or within collective structures.

The events in Kyrgyzstan have shown that there is still no unity of views among the CSTO members regarding when to use the prompt reaction forces. In which circumstances could these forces be used in the South Caucasus?

There had been only Collective Prompt Response Forces for Central Asia within CSTO that could not be used in the so-called Caucasus region of collective security. However, the Collective Operative Reaction Forces were created in 2009 for all the three CSTO regions of collective security including Russia-Belarus, Russia-Armenia and Russia-Central Asia. However, it is important to realize that as stated by CSTO Secretary General N.Borduzha these forces, «are not planned to settle any bilateral interstate political problems either between our partners in CIS or with neighbour states». That is these new Collective Operative Reaction forces may be used in the South Caucasus only for conduction of special operations in case of threat of terror, extremism, prevention of drug trafficking, protection of pipelines, elimination of consequences of disasters rather than for resolution of interstate conflicts.

If, considering the absence of results in the diplomatic area, Azerbaijan risks to liberate its lands from Armenian occupation by force, will it be viewed by the CSTO leadership as an offensive against Armenia?

The decision on CSTO intervention must be taken by a consensus and provided that there is a request of the state that has been subject to an attack. In case of any hostilities launched by Azerbaijan Armenia will likely appeal to CSTO. But only the direct attack on Armenia, for example, the attack on its territory can be considered the attack against a CSTO member. Meanwhile, if the hostilities are directed against Karabakh, whose legal status is not legally fixed, this will not be viewed by CSTO as a ground for interference.

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Источник: News.Az
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